Your New Cat to Resident Pets
the printable PDF version
who live in the same house may never become the best of friends,
but usually learn to at least tolerate each other with a minimum
of conflict. You will need to take some time to introduce your
cat to other family pets in order to prevent fearful and aggressive
problems from developing.
A New Cat to Other Cats
the new cat to one room with its litter box, food, water,
and a bed. Feed the present cats
and the newcomer near
of the door to this room. Gradually move the dishes closer
to the door until the cats can eat calmly directly on either
use two door stops to prop open the door just enough to
allow the cats to see each other, and repeat the whole process.
product called Feliway -
available at most pet stores - can be useful when introducing
new cat. It
mimics relaxing pheromones that cats exude from their
cheek glands. Spraying doorways and furniture where the cats
with Feliway can help ease introductions.
sleeping blankets between the new cat and resident cats so
a chance to become accustomed to each
- Once the
new cat is using her box and eating regularly while confined,
let her have free time in
the other cats. This switch provides another way
for the cats to experience
each other’s scent without a face to face meeting.
It also allows the newcomer to become familiar with
her new surroundings
without being frightened by other animals.
- Avoid any
interactions between the cats which result in either
fearful or aggressive behavior.
to become habit, they can be difficult to change.
If either cat becomes very fearful or aggressive,
the introduction process in a series of gradual
steps, as outlined above.
need to add another litter box and scoop and clean all the boxes
more frequently. Make sure that none
of the cats
is being “ambushed” by another while trying to
use the box.
- Expect hissing,
spitting and growling. If a fight breaks out, do not interfere
directly. Instead, throw a blanket
wrapping the blanket around the cat before picking him
up. Separate the cats until they have calmed down. It may be
best to leave
the cats separated when you are not home until you are
sure they are
getting along well.
introductions usually require time and patience, don’t
expect things to be perfect overnight!
a New Cat to a Resident Dog
Dogs and cats
who have not experienced each other will require some extra time
to become accustomed
usually want to chase and play with cats, and cats
are usually afraid
and defensive. You can use any of the techniques
described in “Introducing
a new cat to other cats.”
If your dog does not already know the commands “sit,” “down,” “come,” and “stay,” you
should begin working on them. Little tidbits of
food increase your dog’s motivation to perform, which will
be necessary in the presence of such a strong distraction as
a new cat.
as described above for introducing to a resident cat. Once
is comfortable in
house and has
to the smells of the dog, you can attempt
a face to face introduction in a controlled manner.
dog’s leash on, and command
him to either “sit” or “down” and “stay,”.
Have another family member enter the room
and quietly sit down with the cat on his
or her lap. At first,
the cat and dog should
be on opposite sides of the room. Praise
both and give treats. Repeat this step several
both the cat and dog are tolerating
each other without fear, aggression, or other
- Next, move
the animals a little closer together, with the dog still
on a leash and the cat
gently held in a
lap. If the
not like to be held, you can use a wire
crate or carrier instead. If the dog gets up from
its “stay” position, it should
be firmly repositioned, and praised and
rewarded for obeying the “stay” command.
If the cat becomes frightened, increase
the distance between the animals and progress more slowly.
the cat with a cat
tree or high place to be above the dog
will help her feel more confident.
- Try to
direct each session so the dog is likely
to do the right thing and get praise.
Although your dog
or being rough with the cat is unacceptable
behavior, if your dog is always punished whenever the cat
is around, and never
things” happen in the cat’s
presence, your dog may associate the
cat with unpleasant reprimands.
- You may
want to keep your dog on a
leash and with you when the cat is
free in the
that your cat has an escape route,
and a place to hide.
the dog and cat separated when you aren’t home
until you are certain they will both be safe.
Another note :
to eat cat feces, and although there are no
real health hazards to the dog from this
habit except possibly increased vomiting, it
is usually distasteful to the owners. The best
solution is to place the litter box where
the dog cannot access it such as behind a baby
gate, install an interior cat door to a laundry